Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a library, museum, and center for scholars. CHF maintains collections, including instruments and apparatus, rare books, fine art, and the personal papers of prominent scientists, corporations, and institutions, all related to chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries. CHF also hosts conferences and lectures, supports research, offers fellowships, and produces public exhibitions. Our programs provide insight on subjects ranging from the history of alchemy to the social impact of nanotechnology.

Specialty

History of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries

Collections

The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History houses more than 150,000 volumes that form an unrivaled resource for the history of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries. The collection contains primary sources from the 15th through the 21st century. The library houses approximately 2,500 journal titles, totaling 59,000 volumes. Several titles span nearly 200 years. Collections also include: paintings and works on paper from the 17th through the 19th century; hundreds of 20th-century chemical instruments; artifacts ranging from some of the first pre-production nylon stockings to early batteries, glassware, and apparatus; 28,000 historical photographs; and 5,200+ linear feet of personal papers and corporate and organizational records (e.g., the papers of Paul Flory, Carl Marvel, Alan MacDiarmid, Paul Lauterbur, and Richard Smalley, the historical archives of the Dow Chemical and Rohm & Haas companies, and the unpublished records of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Chemists’ Club). Othmer Library Catalog.

Collections URL

Holding Highlights

  • 150,000 books and journals dating back to the 15th century
  • 6,000 rare books, including the noted Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library
  • Over 5,200 linear feet of manuscripts, including institutional and corporate collections (including the Dow Company and Rohm & Haas historical archives) and the personal papers of Paul Flory, Carl Marvel, Alan MacDiarmid, Richard Smalley, Paul Lauterbur and many others
  • 28,000 historical photographs of chemists, laboratories and instruments
  • Historical artifacts, including over 700 chemical instruments and 90 chemistry sets
  • Over 90 works of art and 200 prints of chemical subjects dating back to the 17th century
  • More than 425 oral history interviews with leading figures in chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries
  • 2,500 journal titles, dating from 1819
  • Library Catalog

Fellowship URL

Link to Calendar of Events